New blog post - High Intensity Language Training - speed of production

I think this is a particularly interesting area, and I’m dying to find test cases of people who increase their initial speed of production, and become less dependent on the pause button:

(Oh, and I love Turbo…;-)).

Interesting post Aran. Regarding the use of the pause button, personally I never used it post Course 1, not sure how that happened, I just found no need for it - not that I got everything right! I think the confidence to make any response at all, regardless of correctness, is the key to production speed, like you say in the article.



That’s extremely interesting - how much did you use it to begin with?

Hei Aran,

A reasonable amount as far as I recall. Thinking back, I used to do lessons sitting in the living room, but after a while, I did more and more in the car, which meant that I could not actually use a pause button at all. If I could not get the response, I just missed it out. By the time I got to the end of Course 1, I was pretty relaxed about that, and then never needed the button for the vocab lessons onward, and I got a response out fine. I may have talked over Catrin at first, but not much after a while. Maybe just being relaxed about it was the key?



That’s hugely interesting, Stu - sounds as though not having the pause option, and discovering that you were still getting some value, was a huge part of that - so maybe another test people should try is just doing a few sessions without touching the pause button at all, and see how it works out…

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Helo! I have not used the pause button much at all usually because I am doing something else e.g. washing, cleaning etc at the same time. It seems (to me) to be easiest to remember the Welsh when doing another task at the same time - maybe because I am less focused on it so less pressure?

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Another very interesting thought - thank you, Jenny! :star:

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I agree with you Jenny about doing other tasks, I can’t remember ever using the pause button because pretty well al my learning took place while walking to work. Note to self: must try washing and cleaning next :slight_smile:


I haven’t been using the pause button for a long time either. Not after starting to use my android phone to listen the lessons, so it’s been over two years.

It’s just too much trouble to keep the screen active when I’m on the move. At first I missed it a bit, i.e. wanted to use it, but after a while that feeling went away.

If I can’t get the sentence out before the first answer starts, I speak faster to at least finish at first.


Hello there. I also used the pause button a lot at first. Lately I’m finding I use it very little when I’m doing a lesson while cleaning/running. I also find the more lessons I do in a row, the less I’m using the pause button (until I hit the point where my brain says “nope” and I can’t get even the simplest sentence out…then it’s time for a break). However, I do find I use it more when I’m on public transit going home from work. I’m guessing this is because I’m tired and in a very distracting environment. I also sometimes use the pause button as a kind of pressure valve. As soon as the English prompt finishes, I hit pause and start speaking. Once I’ve said the first couple words, I hit play again. It relieves the pressure to get everything out before Cat and helps me think straight, especially if I’ve missed a few in a row or keep missing the same word/construction. After I do that a couple times with something I’m having trouble with, I often don’t have trouble with it again.


That sounds as though you’ve really got it cracked, Megan! And diolch yn fawr for your detailed input - it’s hugely interesting hearing from people who’ve started with a lot of pausing and then cut down - diolch Tyger hefyd, defnyddiol iawn - I think between you all, you’ve added a new point to the blog, which I’d better go and add… :sunny:

When I first started using SSiW, I used the pause button as much as I liked and didn’t worry about it. For me this was immensely useful in taking the pressure off and giving me a comfortable learning environment. The moment the English sentence was out, I’d hit pause and then take my time working out the answer and this let me focus on the LEARNING.

This enabled me to completely focus on working out the translation, without half of my brain being distracted by thoughts of: “Oooh! Quick…what’s the answer?! I don’t know and there’s only five seconds to go before Catrin says it in Welsh!!!”

Once I was comfortable with the subject matter at hand, then I started weening myself off the pause button. In fact, by the time I had gotten to that stage, I often discovered that I had often already started to develop my learning reflex (i.e. that instinct where you start to go with your gut and say the answer in Welsh before the English side of your brain has woken up and gone through the full translation process) and was usually spot on with the translation.

So my advice would be to use the pause button as much (or as little) as you feel will help you. There’s no point learning something if it’s not a positive experience. Create the environment in which you are most comfortable with your learning and don’t worry about anyone else. Once you’ve finding it easy, then set yourself a bit of a goal to see how much you can do without it and make it a fun experience.


Just adding another vote to the “never used the pause button” camp. Partly because I started doing lessons in the car where it wasn’t an option, partly because I always have to be doing something else at the same time or my brain implodes, partly because it just seems like it’d be so much faff to use it!

Of course, we all know I’m the world’s worst Welsh speaker, so maybe that’s not a strong recommendation for the approach … :wink:

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Sounds a lot like my experience Colin. At first, my perception was that the gaps left for speaking were too short, and I remember making a posting on the old forum saying I was thinking of slowing it down in Audacity. I was advised not to, and I didn’t. And by the end (of course 1) I was thinking that the gaps for speaking were too long! :slight_smile: (I used the “spare” time to repeat as much of the phrase as I could get out again to get more practice).


I think that’s a perfectly reasonable approach, Colin, and it’s certainly true that it’s far, far better to go slowly than to try and go too fast, become discouraged, and give up.

At the same time, it’s becoming more and more clear that people who can put up with a little bit of pain at the beginning can find that they get used to responding quickly, and can then of course get through the material much more quickly.

I’m going to test this a bit further in the next few one-on-ones I do, and see how that works out.

But certainly no-one should feel under pressure to go without the pause button if it makes them feel like giving up, so thanks for that post… :sunny:

I understand your point about about getting through the material quickly. However, I do not have a deadline for learning, and am absolutely opposed to pain of any sort! I believe Megan and Colin have described the approach to which I am best suited. We all share the same aim - the ability to speak Welsh and at the same time we have our own strengths and needs. Many learners will be making faster progress than I, but I want to continue enjoying my learning experience at the speed and manner I feel comfortable. I will continue to use the pause button when needed. For me it’s an integral and important tool. l would guess that many new learners would depart without it.

In which case you’re doing absolutely the right thing to keep using the pause… :sunny:

I’m sure we would lose a lot of beginners if there was no pause button - I’m equally sure that there are lots of people who would benefit from (and come to enjoy) living without it - so with luck we’ll be able to strike the right balance of encouragement for people to test their limits, without making them feel that they’re doing something wrong if they’d rather not :sunny: